A mortuary is used for keeping the bodies of the deceased prior to identification, burial or cremation, awaiting post-mortem or disposal. Under normal procedures, the storage of human corpses may range from a few hours to a few days. In some rare cases though, a few weeks or longer may be needed.

This means that preventing or delaying the bodies from decomposition is necessary, which is why a refrigerated environment is recommended. Mortuary refrigerators are equipment that maintain a suitable environment for the bodies of the deceased. Nearly all modern health care facilities would have a cold room with a mortuary refrigerator available. These units are widely used at hospitals, railways, airports, disaster camps, army and etc.

Types of Mortuary Refrigerators

Positive Temperature Mortuary Refrigerators

In positive temperature mortuary refrigerators, the bodies of the deceased are stored at temperatures between 2 °C (36 °F) and 4 °C (39 °F). Refrigeration at this temperature doesn’t stop the rate of decomposition in the body of the deceased but slows it compared to the normal rate at room temperature. Effectively, the bodies of the deceased may be held in refrigeration for several weeks at a time.

Negative Temperature Mortuary Refrigerators

In negative temperature mortuary refrigerators, the bodies of the deceased are stored at temperatures between -10°C (-36 °F) to -50°C (-122 °F). These types of refrigerators are generally used in forensic institutes. The freezing temperature ensures that the body of the deceased is frozen and this makes the rate of decomposition become very low.

Advantages of Mortuary Refrigerators

In comparison with embalming, which is another method of holding the body prior to burial or disposal, mortuary refrigerators provide some advantages using the refrigeration method as outlined below:

More Time For Procedures

When a body of the deceased remains unidentifiable, facilities are needed to store them for longer periods as it takes more time to finish the identification process. Currently, mortuary refrigerators or freezers are the only options available for longer-term storage of these bodies.

Keeps Surroundings Clean

Mortuary refrigerators are self-contained spaces that prevent the growth of pathogens. The body of the deceased is prepared with silver ion anti-bacterial powder prior to storage. This protects the body from the growth of harmful bacteria and prevents the spread of pathogens and bacteria in the surrounding environment as well.

Accurate Temperature Control

Mortuary refrigerators come with digital displays which allows users to accurate set the temperature of the refrigerator. The latest developments in refrigeration technology also ensures that the airflow inside the refrigerator will be able to effective cool and maintain the temperature stably without hot spots.

Better Space Management

Mortuary refrigerators are designed in mono structures, which take a minimum footprint and give back maximum storage space. This also means that mortuary refrigerators are not bulky design-wise and are more scalable in case of additional units required. The design of mortuary refrigerators will slowly evolve as the industry strives to improve their scalability.


Mortuary refrigerators are built from stainless steel to ensure high levels of cleanliness in the mortuary and long-lasting usage. For proper insulation, polyurethane is used which further improves the life of the refrigerator. The use of a chromium handle on the door increases also the durability of the structure.

Looking For A New Mortuary Refrigerator?

The ETS range of Mortuary Refrigerators are developed for the storage of the bodies of the deceased for temporary or extended periods. These units are made of stainless steel for long lasting use. The range is completed with various accessories to complement the mortuary environment such as hydraulic trolleys, stainless steel body trolleys, autopsy tables, etc. 

For more information on our range of Mortuary Refrigerators and their accompanying accessories, click here.

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